Several other bloggers have written about this after Randy Seavers wrote a post about it. Randy got onto this little used area of Ancestry after an email from a reader of his blog Debbie Duay. Just goes to show how well the genealogical community works when someone finds something new
Apparently Ancestry has many databases that can’t be searched using the search box as they aren’t indexed. So how do you find them? ……………………..
This is a search I did on Ancestry.co.uk. First access the Card Catalogue, there is a link on the front page of Ancestry. There are a heap of filters you can use down the left hand side of the page. When you click the filter that you want, I chose the date filter and the 1600′s, the main larger box brings up all the datasets that apply. There is a tick box at the top that can limit the search to UK & Ireland records only. 313 record types came up under the 1600′s search. Having had a quick browse I can see lots of records I didn’t know that Ancestry had and I am certainly going back to have a closer look. Perhaps it’s just me, but I haven’t given the Card Catalogue a look up till now. How many of these records aren’t indexed I can’t say as yet, but I report back on any I find.
I have noticed that some of the London Metropolitan Archives records that have recently been released aren’t indexed so need to be read page by page, however the ones I have searched have been arranged alphabetically. When I started doing genealogy there weren’t many indexed records and it was assumed that one would have to trawl through until you found what you were looking for (or didn’t find it as the case may be!). The bonus on working page by page is that you often pick up clues along the way and remember the indexing isn’t 100% so don’t ignore these unindexed datasets and do give the card catalogue a try.
Randy Seaver sets the question of how many datasets are on Ancestry that we don’t know about and a very good question it is too. There might be all sorts of treasures there that we just don’t know about. The bigger questions are: